Odzala-Kokoua is one of Africa's oldest national parks, having been proclaimed by the French administration in 1935. It covers some 13600 square
kilometres (1.360 million hectares) of pristine rain forest and is an integral part of both the Congo Basin and the TRIDOM Transfrontier Park
overlapping Gabon, Congo and Central African Republic. It holds globally significant populations of Western Lowland Gorilla and Forest Elephant
as well as a plethora of other species: 430 bird species and more than 100 mammal species of which around 50 are classified as medium- or largesized.
Odzala has the highest number (11) of diurnal primates for any forest block in central Africa, as well as Africa's highest density of Western
Lowland Gorillas and central Africa's highest density of Chimpanzees.
Bais, or salines, are swampy, grassy areas that are dotted across the rainforest and which offer a rare chance to catch a glimpse beyond the 'green
curtain' into the lives of the forest dwellers. Various mammal species come to the bais on a regular basis in order to access various elements from
minerals and salts, to sedges and water loving grasses to water. These bais range in size from less than a hectare to more than 10 hectares and
represent the best chance of seeing forest wildlife. Viewing at the bais takes place from raised platform hides, or miradors, and requires patience.
The bais we visit in Odzala-Kokoua are relatively small and as a result offer the opportunity for close up viewing of various species.